The Mind


As if sliding down the green, scuffed face
of the wave, a seaplane falls
and turns together, keeping the waters of

the ear flat: a dead calm. But when the window’ s
frowning strip of shoreline,
the battalions of tropical-drinks umbrellas

guarding the sandcastles and saltboxes
of the rich,
when these flip upside down, and the pale



In the Forest of    Wearisome Sadness,
Where one day I found myself wandering alone,
I met my heart, who called to me, asking me where I was going.

The path was long and straight, row after row of conifers receding
To a horizon that because of   the geometry
Seemed farther than it really was,
Like the door at the top of a staircase in Versailles.

But as if   the forest’ s maker had been offended by elegance,
A pile of rocks disrupted the rows: the forest once
Had been a field. I remember that field.

Elegy for the Living

We wash up side by side
to find each other

in the speakable world,
and, lulled into sense,

inhabit our landscape;
the curve

of that chair draped
with your shirt;

my glass of  water
seeded overnight with air.

After this bed
there’ ll be another,

so we’ ll roll
and keep rolling

until one of  us
will roll alone and try to roll

the other back — a trick
no one’ s yet pulled off —

and it’ ll be
as if   I dreamed you, dear,

At the End of My Hours


here I’ m here I’ m here I’ m

here here here here cricket

pulse — the katydidic tick

(and then a pause) tick

(and then a pause) in greening trees — tales

of a gratitude for water, the hollyhock’ s

trumpet Yes, Tenderness

her glove and hoe — her bad trip

love/grief, her medic tent

talking me down, kissed fissures

in the world’ s despair, what I’ d

loved — alive for a while — a day called

Rip and Brood, a day called

Glorious Hour, the long hunt and the worm found

The Same Old Riddle

We keep trying to kill it, split it, hack
It to itsy bits. We suspend it
On the wall where we can see it
Passing. We hang it around our necks

Or wrists, laying pulse next to
Pulse as if each might like
Company. Ba-bump, etc. Rising
And setting has everything to do

With it. In the afternoon we feel so
Lazy we try not to close our eyes
And jerk awake, wondering what has
Passed, and where did we go

For that suspended hour,
And could anything keep us here.

In Hell the Units Are the Gallon and the Fuck

The unit of wine is the cup. Of Love, the unit is the kiss. That’ s here.
In Hell, the units are the gallon and the fuck. In Paradise, the drop and the glance.

Ants are my hero. They debate and obey. They can sit at a table for
Eight hours, drawing. They spot out the under-theorized...

Have some. For they are as abundant here as the flecks of mica in the Iowa night sky.
What are twenty-sided dishes of fancy almonds? What use jewels?


Just one more vintage movie,
Batwings tonight at the Bal Masqué —
Another creature stuffed
By distinguished pedigree.

I get a lot of madcap ideas about sentience,
How knowing has you put down in the book
Forbidden speech recognition —
Else why make such a face?

And now it’ s luck no longer mouth that moves
When fastidious rummage whispers
To divulge a surplus
A clue if not the key.

Prospect my question laps up for good —
I lean to it. Knowing you,
First-person dwindle.
Tweet-tweet. Prick.